Michael Lye is an industrial designer and educator teaching advanced studios and seminars at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He is currently senior critic and NASA coordinator and specializes in human-centered design with an emphasis on design research and analysis. He has extensive experience teaching interdisciplinary, partnered studios. Some partners include: NASA, Sikorsky Aircraft, Intel and Maytag. Since 2004 he has overseen Design for Extreme Environments, an advanced design studio in collaboration with NASA, where RISD students work with engineers and designers from Johnson Space Center to develop innovative concepts for future spacecraft and habitats. He was a designer and project manager for the Universal Kitchen Project, an award-winning re-examination of the home kitchen environment. Along with his degree in Industrial Design, he also studied physics at The Johns Hopkins University. He has lectured internationally on design for elders and currently holds nine patents in his name.
Academic research/areas of interest
Lye’s research interests include healthcare, transportation, universal, and socially responsible design. He is co-founder of eMotive – a collaboration between Brown University engineers and RISD designers to re-imagine the global future of personal transportation. eMotive combines the capabilities of design and engineering to address the need for sustainable mobility and create alternative modes of transportation. As project lead for the Business Innovation Factory’s Nursing Home of the Future program, he developed a platform to better understand the elder experience and engage those elders in an ongoing effort to directly drive innovation and improvements in their daily lives and residences. He co-directed the Healthcare Innovation Project, leveraging the skills of designers to create detailed visualizations of the patients’ experience with the primary care system in order to define the boundary constraints for improvements in healthcare. He currently works with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital to define better approaches to integrating technology into clinical and healthcare environments.